Friday, April 7, 2017

Update: The Great Tree: Undrastormur, Part 2

Just a quick update... The early beta reader notes are starting to come in. I got one yesterday from Eirikur, my pal from Iceland. He works for the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and keeps me honest on Norse terms (names, etc.). For example, he told me that "the 'Einherjar' are a select group and their name should be capitalized instead of lower case." and that "The correct name of Thor's second goat is "Tanngnjóstur" which would sound like "Tanngnjost" in English." Mythology geek that I am, I love this kind of stuff. It means a lot to me to be as "authentic" and true to the era as possible. Thanks, Eirikur!


"Einherjar" (the ghostly warriors of Norse mythology) by Sebastian Horoszko / Kraków, Poland https://www.artstation.com/artist/sebastianhoroszko

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Walking Out of War" Excerpt and Invitation to Pre-Order


http://amzn.to/2kpRuMo

Author Scott Bury's nonfiction/memoir Walking Out of War is now available for pre-order. Just follow this link to its Amazon page. The book officially debuts on February 22nd.

Here's a brief description followed by an excerpt:

 

Walking Out of War: A True Story
Ukraine, 1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.

Fighting across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on destruction and rape. The Communists are determined to wipe Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for Germany's brutal invasion and occupation.

Maurice knows his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret police.
Excerpt:

Maurice and the Truck 
Latvia, October 1944

Maurice took out his pack of cigarettes from his inside pocket. They were damp, too, but he managed to light one and held the match for Stepan to light his, too. Even our cigarettes have to come from America. And they’re better than Russian cigarettes, too.
“Dig in, boys,” said a sergeant from another company. “Captain wants you to raise a berm along here,” he swept his arm along, indicating a line from a stand of burnt trees to a blasted barn. “Four men stand watch behind it at a time. The rest can sleep in what’s left of that barn.” He left to order other men to raise temporary, rudimentary defenses on the other side of the little camp.
The men shoveled and made a low dike with a shallow moat in front of it, good enough to hide behind and protect them against bullets. A lieutenant took three other men into the barn’s roofless loft as look-outs, even though they would not be able to see anything on this rainy night.
The berm complete, Maurice and a few other men set up the Maxim behind it and then huddled in the slightly dryer lee of a burned shed to eat their mobile rations. “Even our food comes from America,” he muttered, and surprised himself when he realized he had spoken aloud.
“Those cowboys know how to cook, too,” said another young soldier that Maurice did not know. He opened his tin can of rations. “This ham is very tasty.”
“It’s better than what we used to get,” said Maurice. Damn. I shouldn’t have said that.
“What did you used to get?” asked Taras around a mouthful of food.
“Just the Russian garbage. Sometimes, it was just stale bread.”
“When was that?”
Think fast, Maurice. “During training. The food was crap in the Donbas.”
The others nodded as if that made sense, and Maurice stifled a relieved sigh.
“Think the war will be over soon? Fritz is on the run,” said the man who liked the ham.
“It’s still a long way to Germany, and Hitler doesn’t want to give up any land,” Serhiy Koval said.
“France has been liberated, Belgium and Luxembourg too, and I heard that the Canadians have entered Holland,” said the ham lover. “Bulgaria and Hungary have turned against Germany, too. Germany can’t last.”
Maurice laughed bitterly. France had been liberated, or most of it, anyway. Italy soon would be completely free of Hitler. But what about Latvia? Estonia had declared itself a free country when the Red Army drove the Germans out, but its government had to flee the Soviets, too. Latvia would soon be firmly in Stalin’s grip.
And Ukraine? The Red Army had rolled across its flat fields in a matter of months, rolling up the Germans almost as quickly as the Germans had taken the country in 1941. Ternopyl had been destroyed in the fighting. The fall of Hitler’s empire would be the rise of Stalin’s.
A truck groaned up to the barn and parked for the night. The driver got out and three other men jumped out of the back and started unloading. Maurice shivered and felt water seeping through the canvas uppers of his boots. He looked longingly at the truck’s cabin. He thought fleetingly of climbing in the back once it was unloaded, but did not want to risk an officer’s ire. Instead, he walked up to the front of the truck and leaned against the grill. The engine’s damp heat suffused him, strengthened him. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, thinking deliberately of his mother’s kitchen, of Katerina’s bed, of warm sunshine on the hills. For a delicious minute, he was no longer at war, but studying again beside his sister Hanya, sitting by the pietsch, his huge cat on his lap, a heavy book balanced on the table.
It couldn’t last. The sergeant walked into the barn, turning slightly as he passed Maurice. “Bury, you’re on first watch. Get up to the line.” Then he disappeared behind the blackened and splintered wall.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cover Reveal: "Walking Out of War" by Scott Bury

Author Scott Bury plans on releasing Walking Out of War, the third book in his nonfiction/memoir trilogy, on February 22nd.

Until then, here's the cover (which I think looks cool).

Scott describes his trilogy as "based on the experiences of my father-in-law, a Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army in World War 2."

The first two books in the series are titled Army of Worn Soles and Under the Nazi Heel.

I'll update you when the third book is set up for pre-orders.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Back to the Source - A Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) Documentary

If, like me, you're fascinated by medieval-style hand-to-hand combat, especially swordplay, then you must watch this beautifully produced documentary.

It's about a growing group of dedicated martial artists who are using period source material (primarily treatises and instruction manuals written by medieval sword masters) to revive this storied martial tradition.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Winner Winner NaNoWriMo Dinner!



Okay, I don't know what that headline means either, but I do know I won the 2016 National Novel Writing Month challenge today. Woo hoo! Clocking in at a little over 50k words (see stats diagram below) at around 11:00p on 11/26.


Did I finish Elvenking, the third book in the "Leonard the Great" series? Nope. Not by a long shot. A quick outline check tells me that I've got eight or more chapters left and previous experience tells me that I've got around 30k+ words to go before I'm completely finished with the first draft.

During the editing portion of my noveleering, I tend to cut out a good 20k and usually end up with a complete MG fantasy novel that's around 60k words, give or take a few grand.

That's cool. As I mentioned in my announcement post, I wasn't expecting to complete the first draft of this novel, just write the first 50k words of it.

In case you haven't guessed it already, I use the NaNo challenge to jumpstart me into action and move me past my paralysis at the thought of starting a huge writing project like a novel. So far I'm 5 for 5 in beating the challenge (knock on virtual wood), so I guess it works for me.

If you've ever had that itch that says you should at least try to write a novel before you croak, I recommend giving National Novel Writing Month a shot. Like it did for me, it could be just the thing you need to help you stop itching and start writing!

Monday, October 31, 2016

iAi Featured Book of the Month: "The Secret Voice" by Bob Nailor

The year is 1961. In a quaint, rural NW Ohio town, secrets are coming to light. Daniel Yoder, an Amish boy with a dream, wants to attend high school against the strict rules of the Amish church. Surprisingly, the Bishop and Daniel's father both agree to let him attend. At school, Daniel meets the newly-hired chorus teacher, Julie Bronson, the sole black person in the all-white community. Julie discovers Daniel has the gift of song and tries to encourage his talent. Together, can this pair conquer adversity and the stresses pitting them against both religious stereotypes and racial prejudices? Everyone has secrets - some kept better than others. Still, secrets tend to surface. Nobody can hide from who they truly are in... The Secret Voice.

To purchase Bob's book, please visit its Amazon Page.

To learn more about Bob and all of his books, please visit his Official Website.